Photo credit: Boston.com
No one turned the lights off or left this party early, because the American League Pennant was still up for grabs going into game No. 162. Pesky and persistent, the Baltimore Orioles (93-69) made the perennial powerhouse of Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees (95-67), work vigorously for the American League East title.
The battle to be A.L. champs came down to the last day of the regular season, with the Yankees holding a one-game lead in the race, and the Bronx Bombers did not disappoint. Baltimore's 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay coupled with the Yanks blowout win 14-2 over their rivals, the Boston Red Sox (69-93), cemented another A.L. title -- this time by a mere two games.
New York Manager Joe Girardi spoke about the possibility of winning the American League prior to Wednesday's deciding game. "If you win, you win the division," Girardi said. "That's the bottom line. And we have the chance to have the best record, and that's the bottom line and that's a good feeling that you can control that."
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano fueled the offense with a 4-for-4 effort, with 2 homeruns and a career-tying 6 RBIs. Not to be outdone, NY Center fielder Curtis Granderson contributed by smashing a pair of homers, for 4 RBIs, on his way to 43 dingers on the season.
New York finished with the best record in the American League, third overall, and will play the winner of the A.L. Wild Card Series between Baltimore and the Texas Rangers (93-69). The Washington Nationals finished with the best record overall in baseball with a mark of 98-64, while the Cincinnati Reds finished second overall with 97 wins.
With all the history and mystic surrounding the Yankees program, no NY team hit more homeruns than this 2012 club. The Bronx Bombers hit a franchise record 245 dingers.
2012 MLB POSTSEASON BEGINS FRIDAY
N.L. WILD CARD GAME ONE: St. Louis Cardinals vs. the Atlanta Braves 4 p.m. on TBS
A.L. WILD CARD GAME ONE: Baltimore Orioles vs. the Texas Rangers 7:30 p.m. on TBS
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